Thursday, January 6, 2011

Holiday Adventures: Parents, Recas, Timisoara, BUDAPEST!

I’m so sorry it has been so long since my last post!! Things have been amazing here, Christmas, my parent’s visit, and New Years…there is so much to write about so I’ll just start at the beginning!

Christmas was gorgeous here, filled with traditions and customs unique to Romania. We were lucky enough to have snow the week before which really added to the Christmas spirit. I spent the time leading up to Christmas finishing classes, cooking with friends, visiting Timisoara with volunteers Ellis and Katie, and preparing my apartment for my parent’s visit!  Lights lined the streets at night and Christmas music was played over the town’s speaker system. The people were killing pigs, making Salate de Beuf (a traditional mayonase salad) and Sarmale, traditional cabbage rolls.  I went to Christmas Eve and Christmas day church which was beautiful.  Fun fact: At the services, Romanian, German, Hungarian, Croatian, and English were spoken!  I spent my Christmas day finalizing everything for my parent’s arrival the next morning.
I had an amazing visit with my parents! We stayed in Recas, visiting friends and even had a luncheon with the Mayor! My parents were presented with a Diploma for being great parents to me and sending me to Recas to help. My mom received a huge bouquet of flowers- my dad, tons of material about Recas including books, pens, notebooks and calendars.  I was so honored that THEY were honored at the luncheon-I have a great town!!
We spend time in Timisoara, the art museum, cathedrals, just enjoying the snow and learning about my city.  We were able to have a wonderful dinner with my counterpart, Vali and his wife before setting off to BUDAPEST for New Years! 

The Beautiful Budapest!

View of the Palace in Budapest

St. Stephen's Cathedral

Budapest was amazing-it is definitely in the top three most beautiful places I’ve seen during my travels. We stayed in Central Pest, right in the middle of the New Years Eve celebrations and activities, which was great.  We took a bus tour of the entire city, seeing the Parliament, Cathedrals, Palace, Danube Delta River, and much more.  It was so wonderful to be with my parents, just us three on vacation. We enjoyed just walking the streets, taking pictures, and eating wonderful Hungarian food and drinking hot spiced wine. Bonus-I also ate my first real hamburger in  seven months=amazing…and I found an H&M clothing store, which was heaven-shout out to Freya. We rang in the New Year with thousands of people on the bank of the Danube, looking across to the lit-up Palace and watching fireworks.  It was a great last night in Budapest and one that I’ll never forget. 
Saying goodbye to my parents was hard after an amazing two weeks, but I’ve decided that I am going home to the US in June for a two week visit, so in less than six months I hope to see some of you!  I’ve now started school again and am busy with my classes and starting some secondary projects. More to come about that later.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!


  1. Happy New Year! Gorgeous gorgeous photos! Looks like you had a fabulous holiday!

  2. I am so glad you and your folks had such a good time, Sara! Looking forward to the pictures, too :D